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Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in craps, blackjack, video poker and advantage slot machine play. Jerry "Stickman’s" new book is "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker." He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. In addition, Jerry "Stickman" along with his partner, #1 best-selling gaming author, Frank Scoblete give private lessons in dice control. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at .

This is the third in a series of articles examining the strategy changes required by various short-pay video poker games. The first article looked at Jacks or Better. The second looked at Double-Double Bonus poker. This article looks at the changes required for various short-pay Double Bonus games including progressives.

Gone are the golden days of video poker where you could readily find returns of 100+ percent. This is particularly true of Double Bonus poker where the 10/7 full-pay version pays 100.17 percent. (The 10/7 refers to the 10-for-1 paid for a full house and 7-for-1 paid for a flush.) While you can still find full-pay Double Bonus poker, it is very rare and usually only available at "locals" joints. The more common Double Bonus games with a "reasonable return" are 9/7, 10/6, and 9/6.

Keep in mind that for every one-unit reduction in pay, the game’s return is lowered about 1.1 percent. Here is how that plays out for the Double Bonus games listed above:

  • 9/7 99.11 percent
  • 10/6 98.88 percent
  • 9/6 97.81 percent
  • 8/6 96.73 percent

As you can see, it doesn’t take much to reduce the normally low house edge video poker game to nothing more than a slot machine game in terms of return. Also, keep in mind that these returns are for "expert" play – you need to work to get these returns!

Even though the 8/6 game is included in the percentages above, I will not examine strategies for this game since I feel it gives the house too great an edge. Many games out there return even less than this. I strongly urge you not to play them, as they will tear through your bankroll.

Casinos regularly change the pay tables on their video poker games. Just because a particular machine had a full-pay game last week doesn’t mean it will be a full-pay game today. The astute video poker player is alert for pay table changes.

Obviously, as the pay table changes, so must the playing strategy. As the pay for one type of hand lowers, other hands start to become more desirable. In the paragraphs below, I will examine some of the strategy changes required for some short-pay Double Bonus pay tables. I am using simplified "basic" strategies when highlighting changes. Advanced strategies will most likely have more changes. If you are serious about video poker play of any kind, you should get a strategy generating program or app and abide by the generated strategies while playing your favorite game.

Double Bonus strategy is more complex than Jacks or Better strategy due to more high-paying hands. Here is a basic playing strategy for full-pay Double Bonus as generated by Frugal Video Poker. To use the strategy, start at the top and see if that line describes your dealt hand. If there are multiple hands listed in a line, move from left to right. If you locate your hand, keep those cards. If not, continue moving across then down line-by-line until you find your hand. If you reach the bottom without finding your hand, don’t save anything, just redraw all five cards. The colors represent what the player is saving for. Red stands for royal flush, Green stands for straight flush, Brown stands for four of a kind or full house, Pink stands for flush, and Blue stands for straight...

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